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KERS-style F1 feature revealed for 2026

Driver-operated KERS is set to return in 2026 when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

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According to the latest FIA draft of the 2026 power unit regulations, a driver-operated KERS-style system will play a part when the new era of the sport gets underway.

A major overhaul of the regulations is set to be introduced in two years' time, with six manufacturers signed up for the new set of engine rules.

Article 5.4.8 of the latest 2026 technical regulations draft states that the drivers will have access to an 'override mode' through a push of a button, providing a boost to bring the top speed up to 220.5 mph.

It is similar in many ways to IndyCar's 'push-to-pass' system, which appears to have been used as inspiration in some respects.

Whilst the complete technicalities of how the system will work are not fully explained, some of the framework for the driver-operated system is revealed in the latest draft.

Drivers will have to think carefully about when they will use the KERS-style system, which is very similar to what was available in 2009-2013, before the sport's current hybrid power units debuted.

It could be used to improve a lap time during the race or for an overtake in a wheel-to-wheel fight, although it will not be possible to use it every single lap.

If a driver used the system every lap, then they would risk an energy deficit, something engineers will have to take into consideration when navigating its strategic use.

Article 5.4.8 also explains that energy deployment from the ERS-K hybrid will work up to 215 mph, before the 'override mode' can be operated.

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